Thursday, May 19, 2005

Christmas Tree Squares

Christmas Tree Squares (Adapted from Land O Lakes)

For the dough

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
11 tablespoons (about 2/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the frosting

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract
pinch salt
4 cups confectioners' sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
red and green food coloring

To prepare the dough

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Scoop mixture into a 10" x 15" baking pan coated with cooking spray, then spread to an even thickness. Place into the oven and bake until set, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set pan on a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare the frosting

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, almond extract and salt until smooth. Mix in confectioners' sugar. Gradually add enough milk until you get a spreadable consistency. Scoop out 1/2 cup frosting and set aside. Spread remaining frosting over the cooled slab of baked bars. Slice into 24 bars.

Tint half of reserved frosting with red coloring and the other half with green. Pipe a tree design in center of each square, alternating colors every other bar.

Makes 24 bars.

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